Leaving a puppy home alone means risking having him chew up your favorite pair of shoes and leave piddles and deposits in places you don't want them. Taking a few precautions to limit puppy's access as well as providing for his basic needs.
Puppy eyes image by Marfa Faber from Fotolia.com
Leaving a curious puppy alone with access to the entire house is dangerous for your belongings and for the puppy. There are a couple choices when determining how to limit the young one's space while you are away. First is a kennel or crate. This provides you, the human companion, with greater control in regards to what the canine can and cannot get in to. The second option is to select one room such as your kitchen and use baby gates in the entrances to keep the puppy inside. Kitchens are a prudent choice as most are not carpeted and therefore, any potty accidents are quicker and easier to clean up. Be sure to remove any items that pose a danger to the puppy.
Puppy image by AttitudeAngel from Fotolia.com
Your puppy and his little bladder are still learning the how and when of potty breaks. Expecting a puppy to not need to go while you are gone for eight hours of work is as unrealistic as expecting a baby to wear the same diaper all day long. If at all possible, go home during your lunch break to take your puppy to the place you've designated for him to do the bathroom business. Your puppy is trying to learn and wants to please you, but simply cannot hold it all day. Leave pee pads or newspaper in one corner of the puppy's controlled area so he can go potty there if necessary.
Puppy image by Ludmila Galchenkova from Fotolia.com
Dogs are highly social creatures by nature. They long to please their human companions. They want to be with you. Add this natural inclination to the fact that your puppy has been recently separated from his mother and siblings and it's easy to understand why your puppy may experience some separation anxiety in your absence. One of the best ways to minimize this is to get a companion canine for your puppy. Two dogs together will keep each other company. However, this isn't possible in all cases. Be sure to leave toys for the puppy to engage. Perhaps choose one or two particular toys that the puppy can play with only in your absence. Select an interactive puzzle toy that forces the puppy to solve how to get a treat out of the toy. If you answering machine is within earshot of the puppy, call home a couple times a day leaving a message just for him to hear. Your voice will be a soothing interruption during the day.
Sleeping puppies 7 image by Valeriy Kirsanov from Fotolia.com
Of course, nothing can replace human companionship during the day. If possible, leave the puppy in the care of another person. "Doggie daycare" centers are nearly as plentiful as their human counterparts. While such care isn't inexpensive, neither is an after-hours trip to the emergency veterinarian because your young puppy got him or herself into trouble during your absence. Other daytime options include pet sitters who will check in on your puppy during the day. Services offered by pet sitters range from full-day care or simply an hour consisting of a potty break, walk and some snuggle time.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college.